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Lost in Translation: Speech recognition and memory processes in native and non-native language perception
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Förlorat i Översättning : Taluppfattning och minnesprocesser på modersmål och ett andra språk (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This thesis employed an integrated approach and investigated intra- and inter-individual differences relevant for normally hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI) adults in native (Swedish) and non-native (English) languages in adverse listening conditions. The integrated approach encompassed the role of cognition as a focal point of interest as well as perceptualauditory and linguistic factors. Paper I examined the extent to which proficiency in a non-native language influenced native and non-native speech perception performance for NH listeners in noise maskers compared to native and non-native speech maskers. Working memory capacity in native and non-native languages and non-verbal intelligence were also assessed. The design of paper II was identical to that of paper I, however the participants in paper II had a hearingimpairment. The purpose of paper III was to assess how NH and HI listeners subjectively evaluated the perceived disturbance from the speech- and noise maskers in the native and nonnative languages. Paper IV examined how well native and non-native stories that were presented unmasked and masked with native and non-native speech were recalled by NH listeners. Paper IV further investigated the role of working memory capacity in the episodic long-term memory of story contents as well as proficiency in native and non-native languages. The results showed that generally, the speech maskers affected performance and perceived disturbance more than the noise maskers did. Regarding the non-native target language, interference from speech maskers in the dominant native language is taxing for speech perception performance, perceived disturbance and memory processes. However, large inter- individual variability between the listeners was observed. Part of this variability relates to non-native language proficiency. Perceptual and cognitive effort may hinder efficient long-term memory encoding, even when stimuli are appropriately identified at a perceptual level. A large working memory capacity (WMC) provides a better ability to suppress distractions and allocate processing resources to meet assigned objectives. The relatively large inter-individual differences in this thesis, require an individualized approach in clinical or educational settings when non-native persons or people with hearing impairment need to perceive and remember potentially vital information. Individua  differences in the very complex process of speech understanding and recall need to be further addressed by future studies. The relevance of cognitive factors and language proficiency provides opportunities for individuals who face difficulties to compensate using other abilities.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingens övergripande syfte var att genom ett integrerat tillvägagångssätt undersöka mellan- och inom-individuella skillnader relevanta för normalhörande och hörselskadade vuxna i svenska och engelska språket under ogynnsamma lyssningsförhållanden. Med kognitiva faktorer i fokus, omfattade det integrerade tillvägagångssättet också perceptuella-auditiva och lingvistiska faktorer. Studie I undersökte i vilken utsträckning färdigheter i engelska inverkade på taluppfattning av ett modersmål och ett andra språk som var maskerat med brus jämfört med störande tal på svenska och engelska. Normalhörande vuxna deltog. Arbetsminneskapacitet på svenska och engelska liksom icke-verbal intelligens bedömdes också i studien. Designen i studie II var identisk med designen i studie I, förutom att personer med hörselnedsättning ingick som deltagare. Syftet med studie III var att bedöma hur normalhörande personer och personer med hörselnedsättning subjektivt utvärderade den upplevda störningen från tal- och brus på ett modersmål och ett andra språk. Studie IV undersökte hur väl normalhörande deltagare kom ihåg berättelser på svenska och engelska som presenterades omaskerade eller med störande tal på svenska eller engelska. Studie IV undersökte vidare  arbetsminneskapacitet och episodiskt långtidsminne av berättelsernas innehåll liksom också färdighet i svenska och engelska språket. Resultaten visade att generellt var maskeringseffekten större vid störande tal jämfört med andra bruskällor både vad avser taluppfattning såväl som upplevd störning. Vad det gäller det engelska språket som talsignal, är störning från det svenska modersmålet påfrestande för taluppfattning, upplevd störning såväl som för minnesprocesser. Dock har stor inter- och intra-individuell variation mellan deltagarna observerats. En del av denna variation avser engelska språkfärdigheter. Perceptuell och kognitiv påfrestning kan minska möjligheten till att säkra långsiktiga minnesprocesser även om ett stimuli var korrekt identifierat på en perceptuell nivå. En god arbetsminneskapacitet kan ge en bättre förmåga att undertrycka en distraktion och därmed fördela processresurserna för att nå de uppställda målen. De relativt stora inter-individuella skillnaderna i denna avhandling gör det angeläget med en individualiserad  tillämpning, kliniskt eller inom utbildningsmässiga områden när personer med hörselnedsättning eller personer med ett annat modersmål behöver uppfatta eller minnas potentiellt viktig information. De individuella skillnader som ligger bakom taluppfattning och minnesförmåga behöver utforskas vidare. Goda kognitiva förmågor och språkfärdigheter ger möjligheter för individer som möter svårigheter till att kompensera genom att använda dessa förmågor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. , 59 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 655Studies from the Swedish Institute for Disability Research, ISSN 1650-1128 ; 74
Keyword [en]
Speech perception, perceived disturbance, native, non-native, working memory, language proficiency, episodic long-term memory
Keyword [sv]
Taluppfattning, upplevd störning, modersmål, ett andra språk, arbetsminne, språkfärdigheter, episodiskt långtids-minne
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Clinical Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121034ISBN: 978-91-7685-972-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-121034DiVA: diva2:851046
Public defence
2015-09-18, Key 1, Key building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-09-03 Created: 2015-09-03 Last updated: 2015-09-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The influence of non-native language proficiency on speech perception perfomance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The influence of non-native language proficiency on speech perception perfomance
2014 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 5, no 651Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study examined to what extent proficiency in a non-native language influences speech perception in noise. We explored how English proficiency affected native (Swedish) and non-native (English) speech perception in four speech reception threshold (SRT) conditions, including two energetic (stationary, fluctuating noise) and two informational (two-talker babble Swedish, two-talker babble English) maskers. Twenty-three normal-hearing native Swedish listeners participated, age between 28 and 64 years. The participants also performed standardized tests in English proficiency, non-verbal reasoning and working memory capacity. Our approach with focus on proficiency and the assessment of external as well as internal, listener-related factors allowed us to examine which variables explained intra- and interindividual differences in native and non-native speech perception performance. The main result was that in the non-native target, the level of English proficiency is a decisive factor for speech intelligibility in noise. High English proficiency improved performance in all four conditions when the target language was English. The informational maskers were interfering more with perception than energetic maskers, specifically in the non-native target. The study also confirmed that the SRTs were better when target language was native compared to non-native.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Research Foundation, 2014
Keyword
English proficiency; native; non-native; speech perception; informational masking; energetic masking; working memory
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-109224 (URN)10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00651 (DOI)000338777900001 ()25071630 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2014-08-12 Created: 2014-08-11 Last updated: 2015-09-03Bibliographically approved
2. Native and Non-native Speech Perception by Hearing-Impaired Listeners in Noise- and Speech Maskers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Native and Non-native Speech Perception by Hearing-Impaired Listeners in Noise- and Speech Maskers
2015 (English)In: TRENDS IN HEARING, ISSN 2331-2165, Vol. 19, 1-12 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study evaluated how hearing-impaired listeners perceive native (Swedish) and nonnative (English) speech in the presence of noise- and speech maskers. Speech reception thresholds were measured for four different masker types for each target language. The maskers consisted of stationary and fluctuating noise and two-talker babble in Swedish and English. Twenty-three hearing-impaired native Swedish listeners participated, aged between 28 and 65 years. The participants also performed cognitive tests of working memory capacity in Swedish and English, nonverbal reasoning, and an English proficiency test. Results indicated that the speech maskers were more interfering than the noise maskers in both target languages. The larger need for phonetic and semantic cues in a nonnative language makes a stationary masker relatively more challenging than a fluctuating-noise masker. Better hearing acuity (pure tone average) was associated with better perception of the target speech in Swedish, and better English proficiency was associated with better speech perception in English. Larger working memory and better pure tone averages were related to the better perception of speech masked with fluctuating noise in the nonnative language. This suggests that both are relevant in highly taxing conditions. A large variance in performance between the listeners was observed, especially for speech perception in the nonnative language.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2015
Keyword
speech perception; native and nonnative; noise- and speech maskers; nonnative language proficiency; cognitive abilities
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118984 (URN)10.1177/2331216515579127 (DOI)000354486300002 ()25910504 (PubMedID)
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council [349-2007-8654]

Available from: 2015-06-08 Created: 2015-06-05 Last updated: 2016-04-11
3. Subjective ratings of masker disturbance during the perception of native and non-native speech
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Subjective ratings of masker disturbance during the perception of native and non-native speech
2015 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, 1065Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present study was to address how 43 normal-hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI) listeners subjectively experienced the disturbance generated by four masker conditions (i.e., stationary noise, fluctuating noise, Swedish two-talker babble and English two-talker babble) while listening to speech in two target languages, i.e., Swedish (native) or English (non-native). The participants were asked to evaluate their noise-disturbance experience on a continuous scale from 0 to 10 immediately after having performed each listening condition. The data demonstrated a three-way interaction effect between target language, masker condition, and group (HI versus NH). The HI listeners experienced the Swedish-babble masker as significantly more disturbing for the native target language (Swedish) than for the non-native language (English). Additionally, this masker was significantly more disturbing than each of the other masker types during the perception of Swedish target speech. The NH listeners, on the other hand, indicated that the Swedish speech-masker was more disturbing than the stationary and the fluctuating noise-maskers for the perception of English target speech. The NH listeners perceived more disturbance from the speech maskers than the noise maskers. The HI listeners did not perceive the speech maskers as generally more disturbing than the noise maskers. However, they had particular difficulty with the perception of native speech masked by native babble, a common condition in daily-life listening conditions. These results suggest that the characteristics of the different maskers applied in the current study seem to affect the perceived disturbance differently in HI and NH listeners. There was no general difference in the perceived disturbance across conditions between the HI listeners and the NH listeners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers, 2015
Keyword
perceived disturbance, native, non-native, speech maskers, noise maskers, working memory
National Category
Clinical Medicine Neurosciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121032 (URN)10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01065 (DOI)000359938800001 ()
Available from: 2015-09-03 Created: 2015-09-03 Last updated: 2016-04-24Bibliographically approved
4. Episodic long-term memory by native and non-native stories masked by speech
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Episodic long-term memory by native and non-native stories masked by speech
2015 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the current study was to investigate how well normal-hearing adults recalled Swedish (native) and English (non-native) fictional stories masked by speech in Swedish and English. Each story was 15 min long and divided into three parts of 5 min each. One part was masked by Swedish speech, one by English speech and one was presented unmasked as a baseline. Audibility was rated immediately after listening to each fragment. Episodic long-term memory was assessed using 24 multiple choice questions (4AFC). Every 8 questions corresponded to 5 min of recorded story and included 4 simple and 4 complex questions. Participants also performed complex span test of working memory capacity and proficiency tests in Swedish and English. The main result was that the stories in quiet were significantly better recalled than the stories masked by Swedish. Although the stimuli were correctly identified at the perceptual level, challenging listening

National Category
Clinical Medicine Neurosciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121033 (URN)
Available from: 2015-09-03 Created: 2015-09-03 Last updated: 2015-09-03Bibliographically approved

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